As you turn on the television, you would probably get an idea how electric cars have flourished in souk today. You can also see different images of them in various news paper advertisements and press releases. In truth, more and more people have learned to appreciate their advantage to the economy and environment. Aside that they eliminate the dependence on oil by using plug-in batteries; their inability to release black smoke has made them one of the great solutions in minimizing carbon dioxide emission.
Vehicles powered by fuel cells and hybrid cars (HEVs); all these define the temperament of electric cars (EVs). Electric cars are basically run through electric motors or rechargeable batteries. This electric car battery can simply be charged at home. Powered by electricity, electric cars or electric vehicles speed up and consume specific amount of electricity depending on the driver's use of the accelerator pedal. Although they may have limited driving range and consume a bit of time to recharge, the increasing energy storage for the new emerging electric vehicles is made possible by the advent technology.
The term electric cars (EVs) or hybrid -electric vehicles (HEVs) have grown famous around the globe not only for its efficiency but for its eco-friendly means of transportation. Their global popularity started in the mid 19th century. The environmental concerns of the gas-operated cars as well as the concern for cost in terms of gasoline expenditures have made the use of electric cars flourished in many countries. Although they also had ups and down then, their positive environmental and economic impacts have kept them alive until today. In California and the Northeast states, hybrid cars have helped achieved the 2 percent less carbon emission from cars or the "zero" carbon emission rules. The existence of electric cars was seen as a potential solution to reduce carbon monoxide emission from crowded places like the city of New York and Los Angeles. In Australia, motor vehicles registration has thrived to 6 million vehicles as its universal importance and relative significance as an alternative to internal combustion cars have been realized.
An electric car is sort of a wiring project wherein the fuel lines, exhaust pipes, coolant hoses and intake manifold is replaced by wirings. Basically, it works like solar cars; however, EVs work through controllers and get their energy from batteries. After going about 100 to 200 miles, it may require recharging by plugging them into an electric power outlet you simply can find at home or at the gasoline stations. They run without burning any fossil fuel from the internal combustion engine, which make them not only trendy but proven helpful to the environment as they do not make air pollution.
On the other hand, cars which use both gasoline and batteries or HEVs work with the combination of batteries and gasoline. It uses gasoline to power an engine while it uses batteries to power an electric motor. In HEVs, the electric motor provides additional power to accelerate the engine during hill climbing. In this case, only a small amount of combustion takes place but with higher efficiency in comparison with gas-operated cars where speed only depends on one engine. At the stop or start of the vehicle, the engine automatically shuts- off or on whenever the accelerator is pressed. This then prevents wasted energy from inactivity.
Gasoline Vehicles and EVs have their own pros and cons over the other. The following table shows a comparison between Gasoline Vehicles and EVs in various aspects.
|Gasoline Vehicles||Electric Vehicles|
|Price||Gas expenditure is more costly than charging the electric car battery; however, buying one gasoline car is less costly than buying EV||Entails less budget in refueling as it only require charging the electric car battery; however, the price of one electric vehicle might be costly|
|Maintenance||Takes up hundreds of parts to replace the internal combustion engine||takes up four to five parts in replacing batteries|
|Budget Analysis||Entails 12 cents per mile||Entails 2 cents per mile|
|Refueling||Consumes 3 to 5 minutes refueling at the nearest gas station||Takes up at least15 to 30 minutes recharging batteries at home or at the nearest gas station|
|Speed||300 +/- mile range||100 +/- mile range|
There are many advantage of electric vehicles compared to the gasoline cars, and these are as follows:
Charging the electric car battery needs proper precaution on the right charger to be used. It should be noted that a sophisticated charging system is the best recommended way to charge an electric car. This is because it monitors battery voltage so it sends as much current as it could to the electric car but without raising the battery temperature. Hence, when buying an electric car, it is important to know the charging system the car has. Basically, there are two types of charging system. One system may accept 120 volt and the other may entail 240 volt. Car like this may simply be charged through an ordinary outlet. However, higher volts may require an outlet that must correspond to the volt requirement so as to avoid short circuits and damage to batteries as well as the car as a whole.
The car charger may be found as a built-in part of the controller; otherwise, it could be placed in a separate box located under the hood or a free-standing unit separated from the car.
Most of the electric cars today are results from conversion. They are called "home brew electric cars". Converting a gasoline car to an electric car uses a DC controller and a DC motor. During the conversion, the owner is required to have a donor car which will be used as the platform for conversion. The owner may have the privileged for a lot of choices in terms of the voltage system and the kind of battery to be used. For instance, the owner may choose anything between 96 volts and 192 volts or more. For the battery, the owner may choose from Marine deep-cycle lead-acid batteries, Golf-cart batteries, or High-performance sealed batteries. During the conversion, the entire internal combustion engine is replaced with wirings to set-up the electric battery. The conversion may cost around $5,000 to $ 10,000. This cost is divided for the batteries, motor, controller, adapter plate, and other parts like motors, wiring, and switches.
The following are the most common problems of electric cars along with suggested solutions.
Blown Fuse - Busted lights is an indication that the fuse have blown up. This may be fixed by completely replacing the lights. However, it should be noted that owner the one with the same amp rating and size to prevent other problems to occur.
Dead battery - Batteries can die even without prior notice; however, this should not pose any alarm to owners. This can be common to any electric cars due to corrosion. Even so electric car owners who use lead-acid batteries can replace them with NiMH batteries. Although they cost higher than lead-acid batteries, they have an extended life span of five to ten years.
Alternator - Dimming headlights or stalling at stoplights are obvious indication of a failing alternator. To confirm this, electric car owners may test the voltmeter to the plus and minus terminal clamps when the engine is on. Low voltage would mean that the alternator strongly needs a complete replacement.
Faulty Switch - While an electric car is made up of electrical wirings, faulty switch is no less impossible. There might be losing connection between wirings especially in the headlights wherein a circuit breaker may be present. In this case, owners may need to reset the breaker using the shop manual.
Electric Cars exist everywhere in the United States but you may barely notice that the car is electric. Like Nissan Leaf which exhibits the same medium-size hatchback that seats five adults as its gasoline powered version or the Chevy Volt's and the Toyota Prius, it is hard to tell unless you drive it and find out that it does not exhibit the same loud noise as gasoline operated cars. In truth, the finest EVs and HEVs are obtained from manufacturers best known to produce unsurpassed designs and competent electric vehicles.
The following are the top manufacturers of electric vehicles:
Myers Motors - Myers motors aims to produce unsubsidized EVs powered by lithium electric car battery. The company gives out what Americans love best, the freedom to drive. By this, it provides the mesmerizing EV design and color, which is rather smaller than full size cars and single-driven to fit and save parking space while allowing owners to enjoy driving long distance and passing through small spaces along the roads.
ZAP - ZAP has well established ISO 9000 manufacturing facilities in China and has been a dealer of gasoline vehicles across United States. Recently, its new acquisition of 51 percent share of capital Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Co. Ltd. of Sanmen, Zhejiang, China, has made ZAP Jonway more persevered to broaden the coverage of electric cars in China and the United States. The company specifically targets trucks and vans used in campuses and other government markets around the place.
The following are some of the electric cars that are available today. Others are expected to set in by the end of the year. The prices are basically based on the manufacturer's suggested retail price or MSRP.
Nissan Leaf - The Nissan Leaf is an all-electric car designed with hatchback. It can seat at least five persons. Nissan Leaf offers the smoothest ride with speed up to 90 mph with no sound. Accelerating the car does need to shift gear. Price: $32, 800
Chevy Volt - This four-seat hatchback is a type of plug-in hybrid which uses electric power for the first 35 miles and then automatically shifts to gas to extend its range. For instance, as battery starts to lessen, the 1.4 liter engine takes its part to further cover 260 miles. Price: $41,000
Coda Electric Sedan - This electric car is basically built in Harbin, China. Coda Electric Sedan entails a trunk layout apart from the hatchback electric cars and is based on the existing Hefei Saibai 3, which is actually a type of gasoline car. This four- door car boasts a faster charging system and is available in California only. Price: $44, 800.
Think City - The electric car is a two-seater type which makes it suitable for city use where car parks are usually crowded as it simply fits a small space. Its maximum speed is 65 miles per hour and is basically made up of scratch-proof plastic panel. Price: $ 34, 000
Ford Focus Electric - This electric car is set to kick in the market in 2012. Even so, it is expected to have a range of 100 miles between charges. The creation of the electric car is inspired by the already existing platform so reduce cost and to increase the possibility of more production in the market.
Mitsubishi I - This electric car may even be smaller than the Nissan Leaf; however, capable of running 80 mph with a range of 75 to 85 miles. Mitsubishi I will set in markets across the United States by the end of 2012.